In the Jewish religion, bar mitzvah—”son of the commandment”—refers to a boy who has reached 13 years of age. At this time, he is considered a man in the sense of being responsible to take on the religious obligations of Jewish life. The term bar mitzvah is also commonly used for the ceremony itself, the rite of passage during which the young man reads in Hebrew the portion of the Torah (five books of Moses) prescribed for that week and chants the Haftarah (corresponding portion from the Prophets for that week).
In Conservative and Reform Judaism, girls have a similar ceremony at age 12 called the bat mitzvah (or bas mitzvah), bat meaning “daughter.”
For many Jewish believers in Jesus, the bar or bat mitzvah is a time for a young person to consider the implications of his or her faith in Yeshua. Read more in the articles in the sidebar.